Why I Never Charge for Art

By Neil Bell, New South Outdoor

I recently had a discussion with another operator about my opinion on charging for art services so I thought I would share some thoughts on the matter.

The bulk of our inventory is digital and because of this, we frequently create and change out copy for our clients throughout the week. Although this often creates more work, we never charge our advertisers for new copy. .

The reason we don’t charge – even though it increases workload and cost – is that we do not want to create unnecessary barriers to the advertiser’s proper use of the medium. We often work with small, local businesses in our markets. If we charged  every time customers  wanted to promote a week-long sale or change up their look for the new season, they may elect to save money and stick with a boilerplate ad.

My opinion is that if they are going to run one message for an extended period, they should buy a static display.

Digital displays offer so much more to the local advertiser, and it’s our job to help them unlock those features. Dayparting, daily/weekly copy changes, trigger content, countdowns, and dynamic copy are all available to them. If we can get rid of the cost hurdle for advertisers, they are much more likely to use the medium in an effective way.

We have found that the advertisers that change their ads often with timely information are the customers who tend to renew their advertising contracts. This high renewal rate could be because they are  more invested in the medium… but I am also convinced that  running relevant content is highly advantageous for them and generates better results. In the end, when our customers succeed, we also succeed.

What are your thoughts on charging for art?  Let Insider know using the form below.

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  1. I am sure this is a polarizing topic. Personally, I love Mr. Bell’s perspective on this. I agree with his reasons. It’s a great way to build trust and further distinguish his business from the competition.

  2. We use and believe in the exact same practice. I agree with Neil on all points. It has proven very effective to eliminate the barrier of HOW to use OOH for many small businesses, and then you only have the barrier of WHY. Then we just let the ink dry on the contract and everyone wins.